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Thread: Victims and Victims

  1. #1

    Victims and Victims

    Hello all

    I recently found out about the unfortunate news about a young college student who got in a bar fight, after trying to steal money from the tip jar. An "off duty" bouncer caught him and beat him up. Tragically, the student died as a result.

    Upon hearing of this tale, my family was berating the bartender for his recklessness and cruelty. Agreed. However, I was trying somewhat unsuccessfully to explain that both the student AND the bouncer are victims of this unfortunate encounter. Naturally, the bouncer was in the wrong to commit such a violent act, and I explained that I am not saying he was right, nor that he should not suffer the consequences of his act. But if we look upon all of this with compassion and understanding we should be aware that BOTH of these individuals are victims.

    My family could not see it and I felt a little bit at a loss to explain my view.

    Anyone have any suggestions or pointers on how to talk about this more eloquently?


  2. #2
    I kinda see the bouncer as a victim of himself. What he did was a horrible act of violence. Caught up in the intense emotions of the moment, he aloud himself to make tragic mistake. Not only did he end the life of that young man but he inflicted a wound on his soul that he will have to live with for ever.

  3. #3

    This happened to me too with my family. I can't remember a specific action or approach that I took, but eventually the message got through. So, while they don't always agree with me, at least they understand my perspective. Perhaps time and more examples will do the trick.


  4. #4
    Unless you bear witness, you don't really know what happened. The consequences for both are an unecassary tragedy. Conflict can escalate at the speed of light.

    Kind regards. /\
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

  5. #5
    When it comes to difficult conversation, lately I'm just trying to grok it as I go! Mostly, I try to find that polite place where I realize further pressing my point is pushing me or the other person/s off balance and gently move from it.

    Last edited by Geika; 08-30-2014 at 09:32 PM.
    求道芸化 Kyūdō Geika
    I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

  6. #6
    I once tried to explain to my Jewish relatives that, from a Buddhist perspective, even Hitler was a victim of his inner greed, anger/violence, and divisive thoughts of discrimination/fear/ignorance. It was also his childhood perhaps, his inner self-loathing, his own fears, his DNA ... many factors. What is more, we must recognize that "there but for the grace of God (or Karma) go I", and we might all be "Hitler" if born in his circumstances, with his life and psychological condition.

    I explained, however, that calling Hitler a "victim" does not mean we did not need to try to stop him during the war, and hold him responsible for his actions. Calling a rapist or child abuser also a "victim" of their greed/lust, anger/violence and divisive thinking does not mean we do not need to arrest and punish such individuals. We are still responsible ... in both the law of the country and the law of Karma ... for our individual choices in the present. We bear the consequences of our choices and actions.

    My relatives seemed to actually understand.

    However, Amelia is right. Do not be too concerned or frustrated by an inability to convince people of things, especially concerning religion, politics, morality etc. It is a hard or impossible job to change someone's views on such matters.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 08-30-2014 at 09:36 PM.

  7. #7
    Thanks so much everyone.

    I guess I will try to follow the advice of St. Francis, "When preaching the gospel, use as few words as possible."

  8. #8
    Hi Clark.

    Wise reflection.


  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Clark View Post
    Thanks so much everyone.

    I guess I will try to follow the advice of St. Francis, "When preaching the gospel, use as few words as possible."
    Sounds like you gave yourself some excellent advice.


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